Consider Plants, E-Books and Homemade Gifts this Season
‘Tis the season for giving, and Ecotech Institute, the only college in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy education and sustainable energy training, has released a list of ten eco-friendly gift ideas.
“While the holiday season is often used as an excuse for over-consumption, there are a great deal of excellent ways to embrace sustainable giving,” said Kyle Crider, Ecotech Institute’s Program Chair and Manager of Environmental Operations. “Whether you are creating your own wish list or struggling with what to give this year, here are some ideas that are fun to give and receive, with the added bonus of feeling like you’ve done something good for the environment.”
1. Solar and hand chargers. The busiest people on your list will love a charger they can use while on the go! Whether for an emergency or on the beach, this gift is sure to be used.
2. Heirloom plants and seeds. For the green thumb in your life, encouraging gardening and time with dirt can be a simple, thoughtful and fruitful gift.
3. Microloans to fight poverty. Microloans are great gifts to give in honor of someone. These loans help entrepreneurs and small businesses that don’t have access to traditional banking sources.
4. Donation to a sustainable charity. For the altruistic friend or family member, find an organization that aligns with their beliefs and make a donation in their name. See if there is a downloadable certificate online to put in their stocking.
5. Re-gift and consignment gifts. Americans in particular often use and discard items while they still have much life left. Gently used and hip vintage items are available around every corner at consignment and secondhand stores.
6. eBooks. In the age of the iPad and tablet, almost everyone has a way to read eBooks. Think about giving a gift card to an online bookstore – an easy, practical and always appreciated gift!
7. Subscription to local, organic farm-to-table program. Opportunities like this vary across the country, but the gift of fresh, local food is sustainable, delicious and much appreciated by farmers.
8. Make, rather than purchase, your gift. This idea is not just for kindergartners or the Pinterest-obsessed (although don’t discount the gifts from those groups). Whether a handmade card or a homemade craft, recipients are always touched by the effort put forth.
9. An energy kit with LED light bulbs and rechargeable batteries. Practical and eco-conscious, this gift offers less last-minute trips to the store and renewable energy for months to come.
10. Spend time, not money. As what could be considered the golden rule of sustainable giving, offer your time and energy instead of purchased goods. Whether you plan special time with friends and family at the park or you gather a group to plant trees, outdoor playtime, or earth-friendly volunteer work, these activities can be a gift for everyone.
“However you celebrate the holidays, be kind to each other and the Earth, they will thank you for it!” added Crider.
For more information on Ecotech Institute, visit www.ecotechinstitute.com.